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A&D, Aquaphor and other Moisturizers
From Debbie

Regarding an old post on your site about A&D ointment and psoriasis [A&D Ointment — Add P to the List of What It's Good For], I used a similar ointment called Purpose Dry Skin Cream until it was discontinued in the late 90's.  Its ingredients were light mineral oil, petrolatum and lactic acid.  The combination was tremendously effective in controlling (and essentially eliminating) my otherwise large patches of psoriasis.  No other OTC product matched its effectiveness, though comparatively, A&D was okay.  So perhaps just the combination of mineral oil and petrolatum in A&D, as opposed to the vitamins, are what makes A&D effective for others.  (As your site says, though, it's probably different for everyone.)  No longer having the lactic acid ingredient made the oil/petro combination much less effective for me.

I now use the RX Cyclocort, and it's even better than was the Purpose Ointment.  If the steroid level in Cyclocort concerns your readers, Dovonex, a synthetic vitamin D3 is a non-steroid alternative.  But your readers probably know about these products.

Anyone know of a generic A&D ointment that doesn't include the strong fragrance?  All the generics I know of have added the fragrance.  I use it on my face, and the fragrance irritates my eyes.  Thanks! –Debbie


Ed’s Response:  Funny you should bring up Dovonex and A&D ointment in the same email, because both are related to vitamin D.  Dovonex is a man-made vitamin D3 whereas A&D ointment is supposed to have natural vitamin D in it (as well as vitamin A, hence “A+D”).

For some people the topical vitamin emollients work well.  For others, something with powerful moisturizing characteristics, no vitamins and no fragrance — something like Aquaphor (by Eucerin) might be a possibility.  My derm recommended Aquaphor to me when the P-lesions on my feet become thick, painful and cracked.  While it doesn’t get rid of the lesions, it does keep them pliant (preventing cracking) and more comfortable.  My derm recommends Aquaphor to other flakers who have the cracking problem on elbows and knees, too. 

Other correspondents here use plain old petrolatum, a.k.a. petroleum jelly (which Aquaphor largely is).  It can be too greasy for use everywhere during the day, and some don’t like the fact that it makes clothes feel gooey, but it does penetrate into lesions and keeps them pliant.  This prevents cracking and can calm the itch, if that’s a problem.  When I occlude a thick lesion with petroleum jelly (or Aquaphor) and a cellophane wrap over night, I find it’s easy to exfoliate the lesion (remove the top several layers of  flakes) with a brisk terry washcloth scrubbing in the shower the next morning.  Whether or not it’s true, this makes me think I’m leaving fewer flakes in my wake as I move about that day.

Hopefully anybody reading this who might know about an A&D-like product sans fragrance will drop us a line.  -Ed

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